Hazardous agents: What means for travelers of Zika virus outbreak?

The Zika virus spreads quickly – especially in Latin America, but there are cases elsewhere. How to recognize an infection? What travelers are at risk? Answers to the most important questions.

What is the Zika virus?

The Zika virus was diagnosed for the first time in 1947 a monkey from the Zikawald of Uganda in Africa. An infection is often no or only mild flu-like symptoms, which manifest themselves three to twelve days after infection. Only about 20 percent of those infected have slight fever, rash, muscle -, head -, or joint pain for two, three days.

How is the virus transmitted?

It is known that mosquitoes of the Aedes genus the Zika virus transferred–mostly by Aedes aegypti, Aedes aegypti, possibly by the Asian Tiger mosquito, Aedes albopictus. But perhaps it can get also from person to person, as reported by the World Health Organization (WHO). Because there is evidence that the causative agent of blood is transferable. In addition, Zika virus in semen were detected, they could therefore also sexually transmitted. Further studies that are necessary.

Who can the virus be dangerous?

Apparently, Zika infection can be dangerous for pregnant women. You can transmit the virus to their unborn children, which can lead to malformations. In Brazil alone nearly 4,000 newborns with microcephaly, which means have been registered since last October with a small head, – usually this is very rare. In all cases it analyzed the mothers were infected during pregnancy with the Zika virus.